How can one write something about a man that one has never met, and the knowledge of whose very existence only came because of the reading of an RV forum? Why would one want to write of such a person? Is there something to gain from what little one can glean from the writing of that man’s own writing?
In this case, I certainly think there is and I’m going to do so because this man is proving to be an example, no, an inspiration to the rest of us. It is because he seems to be made up of the same stuff that the pioneers possessed.
If the reader has read the very header of this blog, you’ve read a reference to the attitude of some of the pioneers as they settled this land. The distractors and naysayers were ignored and those people, men and women alike, trekked to the frontier to begin a new life. In a sense, those following the RV’ing dream of traveling are similar in that they also left behind others to seek out a new dream.
Sadly, some of the early pioneers and settlers didn’t survive to reach their destinations. Some were lost to warring Indians, some to disease, but most were probably lost to accidents along the trails. The pioneer spirit led the survivors of those families and of those wagon trains to do the necessary thing of burying their lost loved ones along the trail and then moving on to fulfill their dreams.
Thus we come to the story of Alan and Joan Howeth, full-time RV’ers and participants of the RV Dreams forum family. Back on July 5, 2011, while rafting a river in Colorado, the raft that Alan and Joan were in was flipped, unfortunately leading to Joan’s death. Alan and Joan had been married for over 42 years.
Obviously, Alan first found things difficult, and that is to be expected. As I write this, Alan and his remaining family are in Oklahoma for Joan’s services. In reading Alan’s blog, his first posts after the accident were short and painful to read. But, as time has gone on, he has written longer pieces, which I think is good, as it helps in the healing process.
His latest post, written on July 13th gives me even more hope for Alan because he does seem to be healing and even considering getting back to the RV lifestyle. I have to say that is good, since the terrible accident came about because Alan and Joan had a love for the outdoors and were doing what it was they wanted to do. She was right there with him on that fateful day.
Like the pioneers, they forged ahead with their lives and were not deterred by the fact that the rafting was dangerous, or for that matter, any other adventures they undertook was as well. Now, after the tragedy, Alan goes on alone, but I’ll bet the spirit of Joan is right there with him. When he looks out over some beautiful panorama of nature, I’m sure he would have the tendency to say, “Take a look at that!” And, I’m sure that he is still sharing it all with Joan.
Now, Alan is picking up his life and looking ahead; only now he looks at life as a single man. He is following the advice of friends and is looking into an organization of single RV’ers with the intent of attending some of their events. Alan still has a good future, a loving family, and many friends in the RV world, plus an apparent deep appreciation of God and what He has created.
His spirit and fortitude is an inspiration to me. His strength should be an example that we all could strive to emulate should we suffer the same kind of loss that he has.
For Alan, I hope that God’s blessings continue to shower down upon him and that his future is bright and filled with promise.
Should my readers be interested, Alan’s blog is at this web address: